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I How to understand Plutonium enrichment in the graph

  1. Mar 10, 2016 #1
    http://ncsp.llnl.gov/ARH-600/files/pdfs/III.A.4-2.pdf
    For a certain fixed density (let's say 1g/cm3) different enrichment corresponds with different cylinder diameter
    20% wt 12.0in
    15% wt 11.2in
    10% wt 10.4in
    5% wt 9.6in
    0% wt 8.4in
    Why the decrease of enrichment result in a smaller critical diameter?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2016 #2

    DrDu

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    I think Pu-240 isn't fissionable or not as easily while it may absorb neutrons. Hence the less Pu-240, the less the critical diameter
     
  4. Mar 10, 2016 #3
    Thank you for your opinion.
    So you mean the number here refers to the enrichment of Pu-240? i.e. 5%wt means 5% Pu-240 with 95% Pu-239.
    If so, does 0%wt refers to 100% Pu-239? Or is there something else in the plutonium?
     
  5. Mar 10, 2016 #4

    DrDu

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    Yes, it says so. But I can't judge from only the graph that the rest is Pu-239. However, I would suppose so.
     
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